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PREFATORY NOTE

IN marking out the course of thought to be pur sued in the following lectures the writer of this note had no more intention of preparing a volume, however slight, on the best method of preaching the Gospel, than he had of composing a treatise on Ethics, or an essay on Fine Art. His only design was, in compliance with the invitation of the honored President and Faculty of the Union Theological Seminary, to say some words to the students of that institution, especially to those of the senior class, on his own experience in preaching without notes, and on the lessons which this had taught him as to the most effective mode of preparing for plied by three, the subject would have remained inadequately treated. It was not till after the first

the work.

The one lecture which at first was contemplated

grew into three ; and if the three had been multiliberty to recast them, even if he had had the leisure

of them had been delivered that the lecturer was

advised, by the present publisher, that arrangements had been made for fully reporting them, and that, unless positive objection were made, they would be printed. Certainly no book was ever made, therefore, with less of pre-determination on the part of

the author.

It seems only reasonable to ask that any one into whose hands the book may fall will remember the way in which it came to exist, and will not expect from it something more and other than it seeks to supply. The lectures were spoken, without having been written; and the author would not have felt at

for the work. Here and there a phrase or a sentence

has been changed ; a word has occasionally been substituted for another, when that selected at the instant of speaking seemed not the best as more quietly reviewed ; and in one instance an unimportant paragraph has been transferred from one part of a lecture to another more fitting. Otherwise, the

PREFATORY NOTE.

7

lectures are printed as delivered, ---this being the

wish of all concerned with them.

The style of them is, therefore, so entirely without the elaboration in which authors delight that if pride of authorship alone were to be consulted they certainly would not now be published. But the thoughts expressed in them are such as had commended themselves to the lecturer, in his own ministerial life and work, and such as he therefore had

no hesitation in presenting to others, in the form

of free and familiar discourse. He does not now

shrink from presenting them to the public, though quite aware how slight is their claim to any general

attention, and how different would have been the

form to be given them if he had contemplated

making a book.

They are published, at the expressed desire of some who had heard them, and of more who had not; in the hope that, with all their obvious imperfections, they may contribute something, of encouragement if not of more special assistance, to those who would speak the unchanging truth with which God crowds and crowns the Gospel, out of a fur

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